(Bloomberg) -- TikTok is making it easier for content creators to earn money on its shopping platform, a move that could bolster opposition to a US law that will force Chinese parent ByteDance Ltd. to sell the video app by January or be banned.

TikTok didn’t officially announce the change, but users noticed in recent days that the threshold to join its affiliates program dropped to 1,000 followers from 5,000. Affiliates can post videos promoting products sold in TikTok Shop and collect commissions on the sales they generate.

Proponents of the divest-or-ban law say ByteDance’s links to China put the data of 170 million US users at risk. The company sued the US, arguing that a ban would violate its free-speech rights. Earlier this month, a group of TikTok creators filed their own lawsuit based on a similar argument.

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By giving more content creators an opportunity to make money, TikTok can shift the narrative to big government stifling small business. The company declined to comment.

Most TikTok users can easily get to 1,000 followers, so the change will open the affiliate program to more “micro influencers,” who are willing to make videos solely for commissions, said Mindy Yang, co-founder of TikSage, a consulting firm that helps brands market and sell products on TikTok Shop. 

Creators with 5,000 or more followers often want to be paid directly by brands in addition to commissions, she said.

“It’s a numbers game,” Yang said. “Brands want to work with as many creators as possible to make it more likely their products go viral, which is easier when you are only paying commissions.”

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